Chennai Super Kings is one of the few teams in IPL to have kept much of the same squad since the first edition of IPL took place in 2008. The team stuck to its basics at the 2018 IPL Auctions in Bengaluru. CSK, after already retaining Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, and Suresh Raina has a strategy in place to get their core squad back. But CSK team management and Coach Stephen Fleming failed to retain Ravichandran Ashwin who will now play for KXIP.
Returning to IPL after a two year absence, it was quite obvious that Mahendra Singh Dhoni was going to be the first pick for Chennai Super Kings. To no one’s surprise, Mahi is going to lead the yellow brigade once again at the Vivo IPL 2018. Dhoni enjoys a phenomenal record as CSK skipper, leading them to title twice in 2010 and 2011. The side also retained all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and IPL leading run scorer, Suresh Raina. CSK, however, let go off two of their most experienced and match winning stars in the form of Dwyane Bravo and Ravi Chandran Ashwin. With the team already retaining 3 capped Indian players they could no longer use their retain rights and had to go hammer and tongs at the IPL 2018 auction if they wanted to keep their old squad intact.
Well, this was not to be in the case of Ravi Ashwin. The off spinner went to Kings XI Punjab for a whopping Rs. 7.6 crore. To make up for the loss, CSK won the bid for old fox, Harbhajan Singh who once again looks all set to play under the leadership of MS Dhoni. Faf du Plessis will once again play for the yellow army (whistle podu) after CSK used its ‘Right to Match’ card to win him back from KXIP who bought him for Rs. 1.6 crores.
After an intense bidding battle between DD, CSK and RCB for Shane Watson, it was CSK that came out on top with a bid of Rs.4 crores. Former Aussie all-rounder, Shane Watson will now be seen donning the yellow jersey of the Super Kings for the 2018 season. With an experience of more than a 100 matches under his belt, Watson looks all set to strengthen the middle order of the Chennai Super Kings.
Kedar Jadhav also went to CSK for a mind boggling Rs. 7.8 crores. Jadhav who makes a handy wicket keeper as well, last played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who chose to let him go this season. Further, the Chennai Super Kings went on to bid for Ambati Rayudu and bought him for Rs. 2.2 crores. The steal at 2018 IPL Auction for CSK came in the form of South African leggie Imran Tahir. CSK bought Tahir for 1 crore, who played for Delhi Daredevils until last year and was amongst the top performers in the league. Mumbai Indians (MI) tried pretty hard to get Karn Sharma who had a base price of 2 crores but CSK outbid them to buy the star spinner for a staggering Rs. 5 crores.
With the IPL auction to continue again for the second day, it would be interesting to see how the teams pan out at the end.